tv In the Arena CNN March 17, 2011 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT
where could the first strikes come from? perhaps u.s. naval vessels. cruise missiles could be involved. there are nato air bases that could be used in any no-fly zone. one immediate concern, the libyan military, while not powerful, has a stro anti-aircraft surface-to-air missile system here. watch for strikes first in the days ahead. we'll be on top this tomorrow as well as the japan crisis. "in the arena" right now. good evening, i'm eliot spitzer, welcome to the program. will cain and gloria borger join plea and we'll go to anderson cooper in a moment on the story of the most desperate methods to stem the radiation from the crippled nuclear reactors. photos taken from military aircraft by people who surely risked their lives show just how grave the damage is. look at that and imagine how difficult it will be to save the crippled facility. but first, breaking news just
coming in. there could, emphasis could, be an attack on libya very soon, indeed within hours. the battle for benghazi, the battle for libya may well be about to begin. this after the united nations passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone in libya. it's the further language in that resolution that really counts. it approves the use and i quote here, of all necessary measures to protect, quoting again, "civilians under attack." indeed, they have been under full assault around benghazi, the last rebel stronghold in libya. gadhafi forces have taken town after town around the city, and many resistance forces say they are simply holding on until help comes. joining me, gloria borger on the set and chris lawrence at the pentagon. you're about to go into a meeting with the pacific commander who i guess would be in charge of this. what are you hearing ahead this briefing? >> reporter: well, the one thing we're really going to press him on obviously is getting an idea of exactly what right now the
u.s. thinks about the radiation leak. exactly how bad is it, and how will it affect the americans in that area. we know that an elite nine-man military team was on its way to japan. they're experts in chemical and biological warfare. they're going to be advising military commanders what to do in terms of evacuations, decontamination, if they had to operate in a chemical burn situation. in fact, they're the only ones authorized to go within that 50 might have mile danger zone that everyone -- 50-mile danger zone that everyone is been evacuated out of. there are thousands of american troops based within, near where the radiation is coming. and this is not a war zone. you've got husbands, wives, children that live there with them, going to try get information about how many may be interested in being evacuated from japan. >> you know, chris, we are
focusing on two areas of the world in tumult. one area that you were talking about, the evacuation. near and around the fukushima reactors where obviously we're doing everything and our military is doing everything to get americans to safety. and you told us that that is exactly priority. on a different battlefron dsbat military battle, what are you hearing at the pentagon, or if this is not your beat we'll find elsewhere, what are you hearing about how soon we're going to be in combat with libya? >> reporter: it could be very soon but may not be the u.s. landing the first blow so to speak. we're hearing that instituting this no-fly zone or libya could come in a day or two but it may be a european ally flying the first flights over libya to take out its air defenses. libya has hundreds of surface-to-air missiles, but 25 years ago, the u.s. hit libyan
targets. they bombed parts of libya in retaliation for colonel gadhafi's support of terrorism. at that time, they must have dropped in the neighborhood of 400 bombs and only lost one plane. in the years since, libya has not updated its surface-to-air capability much at all. the u.s. has, so ultimately there is a feeling that they will be able to overcome any of libya's air defenses. >> chris, as you know better than anyone, the secretary of defense was not exactly a fan of no-fly zones and came out very specifically and said he thought that they wouldn't work, that they would take too long to implement. now, this u.n. resolution seems to be much broader in its authorization, authorizing, it seems to me, attacks almost momentarily in what they're calling maybe safe areas to protect the people and places like benghazi. what are you hearing about that? >> reporter: that's right, some of the contingencies could be taking out some of his armament,
some of colonel gadhafi's artillery, things like that. one of the terms we heard tossed around today was sort of a no drive zone. just a couple weeks, a lot of the pentagon officials were saying they didn't want to go that far. now the feeling within -- from u.s. officials is a no-fly zone just not going to cut it. it's going to have to go beyond that. >> is there -- is there a sense -- the people i talked to at the white house are very pleased with what the united nations has done, clearly. they say that, you know, they believe that it only took them five weeks to get all this done, which they believe is nothing short of miraculous. is the -- is the feeling the same at the pentagon, or does the pentagon believe that in fact a no-fly zone may not work, this no-drive zone may not work and they may be getting themselves into something they're not willing to get into even with a coalition of the willing? >> reporter: well, gloria, history tells us that a no-fly zone can be effective, but
there's no guarantees. worked in northern iraq because in large parts because the kurdish forces controlled the ground area there. it wasn't so effective in southern iraq. remember, saddam hussein was still able to go into southern iraq and virtually massacre many of the shiites living there because there was no control of the ground. so yes, a no-fly zone can be effective in certain circumstances. but i think what we were hearing from the pentagon is just instituting a no-fly zone doesn't exactly cure any or all of the problems in libya right now. >> all right. chris, thank you very much for the update. nic robertson has been reporting on muammar gadhafi's moves and spoke with gadhafi's son. he joins us from libya. gadhafi told a radio program that he, and i quote here, "will find the rebels in their closets." and he's vowed to retake benghazi. tell us about your conversation with his son. >> reporter: well, his son was quite -- the conversation was bizarre. it came literally as a u.n. city
council was hearing the last thoughts from different nations minutes before the vote came. what i was told was that the gadhafi regime would change its tactics, that they would no longer prosecute a heavy military offensive. that the army would merely surround benghazi, the army wouldn't go into the city, their heavy weapons wouldn't be used. the army, in fact, would help civilians who were trying to leave benghazi, fleeing in fear, he said, of a possible assault. he said what government would do would be to sends in police and special forces if it's the deal from, as he called them, the terrorists. it seemed to be last-minute brinksmanship and change in tactics. we heard from the deputy foreign minister here who strangely as well says that he welcomes the u.n. resolution, 1973, because this is a resolution he said that protects the people and stands for the territorial integrity of the country.
just quite bizarre to hear that in many ways, but what he went on to say was the international community cannot arm the rebels, he said, because that would encourage them, encourage the people of libya to kill each other. >> you know, nic, the language and rhetoric coming out of gadhafi, of course, is always one of brinksmanship. it is outlandish and over the top in its implications in the language he uses. it seems as though the issue has come to the point where a final battle is inevitable. and it's inevitable right now with the united states, france, england, itching to get in there, protect the rebels. so isn't it almost necessary that gadhafi use his forces, do whatever he's going to do before the absolute might of france, england, and the united states come pouring down on him in one form or another and try and push him back into tripoli? >> reporter: i mean, he's been trying to beat this descending hammer that's coming on him for several weeks now. he accelerated the military campaign because he was concerned that a no-fly zone might be imposed. i asked the deputy foreign
minister in everything that you have said telling us now your response to the u.n. security council resolution, does that mean that you will now follow it to the letter and enforce a cease-fire as a resolution calls for, an immediate cease-fire. and he said, well, yes, but it's going to take some time to work it out because there are te technicalities to go three, he spoke in a suave way and talked about his meetings with the u.n. secretary general, special representative yesterday. so clearly there's a fudge factor being built into the time frame here. the government saying yes, we'll go for a cease-fire, on the other hand saying not quite right now. the technicalities have to be worked out. it gives the impression the government really wants to get some more military business done on the ground before it's willing to hold the army back from benghazi. i get the impression they want to take this last city before benghazi and then go for the
cease-fire once they get the outskirts of benghazi. >> will cain. as news of the resolution spreads, i'm curious what you hear from the opposition, are they despondent, a celebratory mood? what do you hear from the opposition? >> reporter: the opposition, this is a celebration. and we've heard of fireworks celebrating up in benghazi, crowds coming out on the streets. this is what they've been waiting for. this gives them, a, some legitimacy that they've been craving, and b, some military muscle at their backs. this is going -- this will stiffen their resolve. they will really be beaten back and fallen back more than 200 miles. military gave gadhafi's forces have made. this is going to encourage them. they'll know that now it's more than air strikes that might be on their side, and other means will be deployed as the resolution says to assist them.
so clearly they're feeling a whole lot more upbeat about the situation right now, will. >> it's gloria borger, we're actually looking at pictures of celebration in benghazi at word of the u.n. resolution. but i want to ask you about this question about arming the rebels. there is some concern in washington that arming the rebels either directly or for money could be a bad thing because we're not sure who all of them are. we're not sure all of them are good guys. and that it could create a bad situation on the ground for us eventually. what's your -- what's your take on that? >> reporter: i think there are several things that play into this, and we've seen things of this nature before where small armed groups have been armed by the international community to assist and bringing down a tyrannical regime and have used
weapons against the sponsors that have helped them. will that happen here in libya? that's what the libyan government has been saying, they've been saying that in the east of the country, have these al qaeda elements. i don't think anyone doubts them. the libyan government has overblown this and made it far bigger than it is in realty. but yes, there are people sympathetic to al qaeda in the east of the country. we saw this because libya was the second largest contributing nation to al qaeda forces in iraq, in 2006. that many of those people had come from the east of libya. so yes, there is a possibility. yes, al qaeda strengthen itself in north africa at the moment. gadhafi is going use any arming of the rebels to try and unite the country to say that this is international intervention, and if there's one thing that can help him rally the force around him and him alone, it is going to be telling people that the
international community is trying to bring down the country and trying with international intervention on the ground. so that's another way this is going play out, gloria. >> all right, nic. thank you very much for the update. we'll take a quick break. we'll be back with anderson cooper. nouncer ] ten people are going to win the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at onstar.com to enter without a blue onstar button.
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serious questions remain about how japan is handling the nuclear reactor crisis. anderson cooper's in tokyo, has the japanese government or power company provided any additional information to clear things up? >> reporter: it sounded like the iaea had had one step forward, reporting power had been restored. power had been connected to reactor number two. tepco, the company that runs the reactors, said the iaea report is not true. they are trying to restore power to reactor number two. ultimately they're going to try to restore power to reactor number two. that's what started this cascade of problems, the lack of power to keep the rods cool.
the fact that they have not restored power is depressing news but they will continue to try. frankly, they said yesterday they were going to try it yesterday. they are overwhelmed at this point, trying to reacts to as many things as possible. the priority for them, it seems, over the last 12 hours to 24 hours has been cooling down the fuel rods and the spent fuel rods in the pool in reactor number three. they've been trying to do that. first they tried to do it from the air, about 24 hours ausing four different -- 24 hours ago, using four different drops. one was successful. they brought in water cannons last night. they tried to do, it police tried, they got to within 50 yards and got pushed back. the japanese military using five water canon trucks tried to pour water from the truck on to it. they did that for an hour. but officials admit they're not clear what impact that has had. that is troubling, that seems to be the focus right now at this
hour. there's also, they reported, drop in pressure in rector number three. that -- in reactor number three. that could indicate a rupture. and there's a controversial between what the u.s. says is going on and what the japanese say is going on. the u.s. said yesterday there's little to no water in the spent fuel rod pool for reactor number four. japanese officials say, well, they don't actually know if there is or isn't water. they don't know how much water there might be, if there is any water at all. some contradiction there, but again, the focus right now seems to be restoring power which would be a major step, and fighting -- getting some water on to those spent fuel rods in reactor number three. >> there's so much going on, it almost makes your head spin. one of the background issues, of course, is that there were only at one point about 50 people going in to try to handle all this. any sense of what the size is of the force that is actually able to go into the reactor spaces to try to deal with getting watered in or even fly over, as you
said, these helicopter efforts have not been terribly successful. how big is the force that is now trying to undertake these multiple efforts? >> reporter: well, i mean, the last figure i heard was 180, which is the figure that the company had put out. that was yesterday. that -- that doesn't seem to include whatever helicopter pilots have attempted. but remember, those helicopter operations stopped after the fourth one, only one of them was able to drop water. the winds were high which is good news in general because that means it's pushing whatever's released into the ocean. it makes it hard to drop water, but those pilots, the raidiatio levels even 100 feet above the plant are high. it may be the reason pilots also stopped attempting to drop water on the thing. and radiation levels on the ground obviously are high and, therefore, difficult for workers to get close. it's not clear. they say they had 180, but they were rotating them through. they were measuring their radiation levels and trying to
keep them within acceptable levels. they've raised the limit of radiation that one can be exposed to working in a plant. they just did that the other day. now there's a higher dose that workers are legally allowed to be exposed. to i'm not sure in terms of their health if that's such a good idea. at this point, those workers working on the ground, truly heroic efforts. obviously they know, you know, the implications of what it means for them long term. >> hi, anderson, will cain. i'm curious about the sense of frustration or fear among the japanese people. eliot talked about mixed messages between our government and their government. we get a sense of frustration among the american media. i'm curious, are the japanese people frustrated with their own government and messages they're receiving? are they scared about what's going on at this plant? >> reporter: you know, i can tell you certainly the people i've talked to, just about everybody is frustrated, angry, though it's not -- not demonstrations in the streets or anything by and large, that's not japan. so there is -- there's a lot of
concern that there's just this credibility gap between -- the people, frankly, a lot of people don't believe what they are hearing from their officials. and this is very much in tokyo. up north, you have this whole other issue that people there are dealing with. they're dealing with the aftermath of the tsunami, which hit that area in the northeast, about half a million, 450,000 people in shelters now, homeless, supplies in some of these shelters are -- are very low, medicines for the elderly, have a lot of elderly population up there, food, water, so they have a whole other set of challenges and frustrations and things to be upset and angry about. but again, i mean, there is calm, by and large people are stoic and, you know, following this closely. there's, you know, those who can get out are heading further south. there's certainly a growing sense i think of frustration and, you know, hope that it's going to resolve. >> all right. anderson, thank you. stay safe. we'll be checking in with you later. in america, we have 104
nuclear reactors, and 23 are the same design as the fukushima nuclear plant. as we look at the multiple crises in japan, the obvious question is this -- could the same thing happen here in the united states? jim walsh joins us again. he's a nuclear security expert. he's been looking into this question. jim, welcome. >> good to be with you. >> first, jim, i got to start -- yesterday we had this dramatic tension between what the chairman of the u.s. nuclear regulatory commission was saying, he was saying you have no water in unit four norfolk japan -- unit four over in japan, and 24 hours later we're not hearing anything about this. what do you make of this, the current situation over there? are they making any progress, or are we still on the brink of a crisis? >> all right, those two questions -- one, what about this dispute between japan and the united states? there appear to have been some helicopter photographs that suggest that there is some water in the nuclear waste fuel -- pool, the spent rod pool there at reactor number four.
now, that's good but that's not good enough. if you have a little water, it does give you some cooling, but because those rods, that nuclear waste is so hot, that's going to boil off and evaporate quickly. so it's better than nothing but there may be a very minor difference at the end of the day between some water and zero water. but the goal obviously is to continue to put water in and to try to keep them cool. as to the broader picture, things better or worse? well, you know, i'm a pollyana, a hardwired apt mist. i would say today was a good day, why? things apparently didn't get any worse than yesterday. and we've had six or seven days where they got worse every day. what do i mean by that? well, it seems as if at reactor units one and two and five and six the situation is stabilizing. the core sfoix focus is on unite and four and the spent fuel ponds where they keep the nuclear waste. that seems to be where people are focusing. but, you know, half the -- part
of the battle here is trying to deal with six problems all at the same time. so if we could get, you know, stabilization, just get through another day with one and two and five and six, at least that would bring us closer to the point where -- where the workers can focus their attention and energies on a few problems, not six different problems at the same time. so i think news about electrical power coming possibly, that gives us a glimmer of hope. it's not -- there's still a lot of steps left, but at least gives us reason to hope that we're making progress and maybe at the outer edges, some of these things are getting stabilized. but there's no doubt that four and five, the spent fuel ponds, the nuclear waste that is generating radiation, that continues to be a major issue with not an easy resolution in sight. >> jim, will cain here. listen, i know you know how tv works, but days ahead this, as you talk to our producers the last couple of days, you were way out in front on talking about these spent fuel ponds. that this could be a potential problem. i'm curious, how did you know this was going to be a problem? is this a common design flaw for
nuclear reactor containment sites, and does that mean this problem exists at the nuclear sites, the nuclear plants in our country? is it that common that you knew automatically this is going to be a problem? >> well, part of why i was worried about this is that, you know, when you look at a picture of a mark 1 plant and see the nuclear waste is being stored in the upper levels of that building and you're having hydrogen explosions in the upper level of that building and you know that that nuclear waste isn't in a containment vessel, it's more exposed than the fuel rods, that's what made me worry about it. and historically, if you go back and look at the documents where you had nuclear engineers, people working for the company, who were building these plants, they were expressing the same concern. that's why i was nervous. everybody was focusing on the reactors, they weren't talking about this other thing. that's why i mentioned it to eliot. unfortunately, it did come to pass. the seconds question, does this apply to the united states? i think viewers should keep in mind that there's a big
difference here between the u.s. and japan. the situations between these two countries. we don't put six plants all together in one place. which is part of what the problem is here. but there are some design vulnerabilities, no doubt about that. i think there are two things that people worry about in terms of the nuclear waste, the -- that's being stored at those plants that you referred to. one is, and this came after 9/11, are they vulnerable to terrorist attack? if you get al qaeda, they grab a plane and aim the plane not at the reactor but at the spent fuel pond that's up in those plants, in those 24 plants, and because there's no containment vessel, they're able to plunge the plane in. you have a dramatic loss of cooling, and then some of them begin to catch fire or they melt or in any case generates a lot of radiation. i think that's the core concern in the last ten years. more -- in the long term, the question is what are we going to do with all the waste? we're generating nuclear energy, waste is building up, and we
have no long-term solution and no interim solution. those are the two issues i think people are most focused on the u.s. plants. >> let's come back to the design of the plants in the united states. again, we don't want anybody to get overly concerned although there are folks who are i suppose, this issue of having the spent fuel ponds outside the containment vessel, is that part of the design feesh feature here? i know we've got 23 mark 1s, so are you telling us in those pools, as well, the spent rods are not under some protective containment vessel that would contain any radiation if some -- something did go wrong? >> there's steel and concrete. they're not designed to at the same level as the reactor core. the focus is always traditionally historically been on the reactor core. and so that's where you see the most effort. and so those are designed to withstand, you know, the most severe impacts. and then the spent fuel pools,
yes, they are protected, they're protected by steel, there's an outer casing of concrete. but not nearly to the -- designed to the level to withstand the same challenge that a reactor core might be exposed to. >> all right. jim, hang on. we'll bring in tom foreman from our d.c. bureau. tom, what's the latest there and that you're hearing in terms of stabilizing reactors? >> to echo what some of what jim said a minute ago, the encouraging part here is what we're hearing is that there really is much more of a real battle plan at this point. look, we've watched this helicopter thing going here, and it hasn't seemed very effective. but look at the overall targeting they're aiming at here. this is reactor number three, the one where all of that water activity has been focussed. look at all the holes, all the problems. one of the reasons you focus on that in part is because you have concerns about what's happening both with the spent roads and with what's happening inside, and you can get to it. they drop water, you have trucks below, both a water canon and fire trucks here.
some of these designed for putting water on to aviation accidents. they had a lot of range. they took that beaten up building we were looking at, pumped water on to it, and there's at least some sense that maybe they were able to lower the level of radiation some by cooling this a little bit. let's move beyond that and ask this question about the battle plan for everything else. we talked about all four reactors. just mentioned number five and six tonight, we believe a diesel generator is working there. so they've got some cooling going on those reactors. that number one over here has not had the problems of some of the others. number two has been a concern, that's where they're trying to get that big power line into, and the reason they're trying to store it here is because they believe they've had the least amount of structural damage here, so if they can plug it in in effect, they might be able to get cooling systems working here. so then you start saying maybe we've got five and six under control. maybe one's okay. maybe two can be brought on
line. if we can push through down, we're somewhat okay. and then the big problem continues to be number four, which we've been talking about all along, and the question of how much water is in on these spent rods right now. and we just don't know. we keep getting contradictory reports. this continues to be the big bear in this because if this is emitting uncontrolled radiation, that's why the helicopters can't get close. that's why the water trucks can't get closer. that's why the workers are being impeded in their work. nonetheless, i think all of us would agree if -- and there's a lot of ins here, if -- lot of n i in -- lot of iffs here, if they can get control maybe you can take under consideration who to do with number four. it's a battle plan and they needed a battle plan. today that looks better than it
did yesterday. >> tom, let me pose it to you this way, there's a battle plan, we know where the problems and crises are right now. if there is no water in the pool at number four, how much time do we have before something bad happens? and in this intervening period, what are the measurements in terms of radiation showing us in terms of how much is both inside the perimeter of this facility and how much is outside? so are we beginning to see things if up or down in terms of exposure both to civilians outside and the folks who are working there? >> i think the safe way to say it is there's a lot we don't know in there because we've been getting all sort of different reports about the readings, whether they're in miliseverts, going up or down. it's a problem we were talking about with anderson a while ago. there's been a lot of conflicting reports about this. generally we have watched the radiation reports go up earlier in the week, and generally they don't seem to be as high now.
what that tells but someone who's trying to work near in their facility or next to number three or number two or number one or people out in the neighborhood, that doesn't help you a lot. as a practical matter, what we're being told is that people aren't being subjected to instantly fatal doses of this or out-of-control doses. generally what we're hearing is that we're not talking about a -- a clearly harmful to humans level at this point. but i have to tell you, having done this a long time, i have limited faith in those reports now. they're oh sporadic and they seem so all over the map, it seems hard to tell what's going on. maybe that's a natural outgrowth of dealing with something like it which as you know is unbelievably difficult, or maybe it's because people aren't shooting straight. >> you know, tom -- >> time schedule, i don't know. i truly don't know. when you start talking about something like that coming unhinged, i think jim would know better than i do. but it's not something you can put a thumb tack in and nail
down. >> people are surprised that the data isn't more precise with the measurement techniques that technology has produced for us. the question of how much water is in the pool at reactor number four, the inability to get a hard answer to that. am i correct that that pool is actually open to the sky? i mean, the roof was blown off, right? >> not really. it -- i've looked at a lot of satellite images of this, and i'm not convinced that that's the case. i will say this -- here's one of the reasons -- one of the problems with the measurements is the same trouble you're having with everything in japan now. the earthquake itself apparently, not only took the power away from all of their measuring tools here, but in many cases apparently messed up the calebration on them or made it impossible for them to be connected right now. all of the tools they would normally count on to say what's going on inside this chamber or in this reactor, they've lost. and when you're dealing with something like radioactivity, you need to have those tools.
they just don't have them. beyond that, i think the other question is is there water in here and is this roof gone up here or not. i've looked at the pictures, and i cannot -- i simply cannot say with certainty. there's one moment in that helicopter video you were showing a while ago where they fly by low, there's one tiny glint of light that comes out of this facility that is being cited as evidence that that's light reflecting off of water. you might be able to see t here. it's very hard to see. even if we stopped and circled it, you'd have a hard time with it. that's being cited as evidence that there's some water there. other people are saying there's not water there. the simple truth is, nobody can prove it either way right now. and by the time anybody gets inside there, i'm not sure that's going to prove it either because we'll just be able to say, well, that's where we are now. it doesn't tell us where it was. >> you wish we could drop in a robot or remote-controlled vehicle, we have something on mars moving around. you wonder if we can't put a
vehicle in, control it, get it in to measure the water. if there's no water, we've got a crisis of some unbelievable magnitude. if there is water there, we can all breathe a deeper sigh of relief. >> depending on how much there is. as jim pointed out earlier, if it's a little and part of it's exposed, that's better but not good. >> tom foreman, jim walsh, thanks for being with us. next, we try to get answers straight from from japan. we tried last night. we weren't going to quit until we got them straight. [ male announcer ] if you've been to the hospital with heart-related chest pain or a heart attack known as acs, you may not want to face the fact that you're at greater risk of a heart attack or stroke. plavix helps protect people with acs against heart attack or stroke: people like you. it's one of the most researched prescription medicines. goes beyond what they do alone by helping to keep blood platelets from sticking and forming dangerous clots.
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charge but is no longer. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. >> first, mr. kono, let me express our condolences as everybody here shares your pain and agony, and i hope you understand we are doing everything we can to help in every way image fwhainable with enormous, enoernls crisis. >> thank you very much. appreciate it. >> let me preface this by saying that in the wikileaks document that's are now the source of all information, you are quoted as having told u.s. diplomats that the nuclear industry and the government in japan have covered up nuclear crises in prior years. so the question i've got to ask you -- given that there is this huge divergence between the chairman of the nuclear regulatory commission's evaluation of how serious this is, what we heard about yesterday, saying thing were about to blow up on us and what the japanese government is telling us, are we getting the straight story from the japanese government? >> well, the japanese government and tokyo power company famous
for releasing the information kind of late. something happened in the morning, and you get information after lunch. but they don't tell you lies. they are just too bureaucratic. and we are asking government to release the information more timely. and the ministry of education and science set up a web site yesterday. so you can monitor all the numbers coming from the radiation. >> but i just have to follow up on that. we have heard such a fundamentally divergent perspective. we were told yesterday by the chairman of our nuclear regulatory commission that it was no water whatsoever in the pond with the spent fuel rods at reactor number four. -- or maybe a tiny little bit. whereas your government was saying, no, no problem there. which is correct, do you believe? you're a senior member of now the opposition party. you've been deeply involved in the regulation of the nuclear industry. what is your best information? are we -- do we face a crisis at that reactor number four in the
spent fuel pond right at this moment? >> i don't think the reactor four is just about to blow up or anything. we don't really have the accurate insight information. we are trying to find out. that's why we are trying to tackle on the other three reactors so that we can approach to their reactor number four. this situation might hold for a while, but it's not going to blow up anything. >> questions like whether or not radiation is contaminating the environment in japan, what levels of radiation might be emanating throughout the government seem important. so why? why if you find something out in the morning do you wait until the afternoon to tell the publi public? >> i think that's a red tape, and they have -- we had an earthquake in nagata, and there was an accident, and tokyo power
company was not releasing information timely. and they've increased size for that. we have been, the opposition have been asking government to release information from the governme government, not let tepco handle information. the government has taken over releasiing information. now i heard the prime minister's office doing much more sophisticated web sites setting up to release all the information concerning the first plants. i think it's coming up soon. >> let me see if i totally understand. so the government, which you criticized for speaky slowly to its people, might take over communications from tepco. w what level of communication problems are we having from tepco then? >> well, i think tepco might try to clarify with the government before they release information. and now the government and tepco
has sort of joint head quota for this issue. and the government will start releasing the information in a timely basis instead of tepco. >> you have accused the industry and the government of covering up -- and i understand this is an awkward question for you to ask. did any of those cover-ups, did any of those safety problems that have not been addressed in the past contribute to the failure of tepco to properly address this problem? is this part of a culture of cover-up? is this part of a culture of not being straight and sincere about safety issues? >> if you are referring to the wikileaks thing, what i've been criticizing is the government and the power industry trying to lead the nuclear strategy into the wrong way, namely getting the plutonium out of spent fuel by reprocessing without having
fast breathe reactor. the japanese minnesota industry has opinion -- japanese ministry has one of the hottest regulation on nuclear, and i don't think -- i minean, they a slow coming out of information, but they don't tell lies, they don't cover up. what i meant in discussion with the ambassador is they are trying to lead a nuclear strategy in the wrong way and don't really open the debate for that. >> if i understand you properly, you were referring to what we call the mox, acronym for enriched uranium that has plutonium that has been in some reactors, am i correct? >> that's right, that's right. >> if i'm right -- am i right, that is part of the strategy that actually is creating this crisis in the sense that that is a highly enriched and perhaps more dangerous type of uranium and plutonium, that if it were
to have a complete meltdown would then release radiation that is more severe. this is part of the issues that you were talking about in terms of the cover-up? >> well, we have 40 tons of plutonium in japan. and we are trying to add eight tons every year. with having a fast breather reactor, having plutonium doesn't make much sense. that's what i've been criticizing for 15 years. about the safety of the mark fuel, you have to ask the scientist. i'm not in position to comment on it. >> all right, mr. kono, again, thank you very much for joining us. as we said, we wish only the best in resolving this crisis and hope there's no more harm to anybody anywhere in japan from the earthquake, the tsunami, or this nuclear event. thank you for being here. >> thank you. coming up, the no-fly zone is probably just the beginning of an escalation in libya. a military expert tells us what lies ahead. on their terms.
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>> i'm not sure. the members that voted for it i imagine will want to pony up resources to make it happen. it is a very difficult task bringing together the different types of aircraft, all the air clearance messages, all the type of coordination that needs to take place, not the least of which is who's got the lead. it's clearly not the united nations. it's going to be tagged with some nation's flag in orders to implement this. how long it's going to take, i don't know. at a minimum, it's going to be several days. but the thing that's very difficult here is that no-fly zone by itself does very little. gadhafi doesn't need his aircraft, frankly, to achieve the results that he's trying to achieve. what needs to be in place is something that's akin to the operation northern watch and operation southern watch which w was implemented in iraq for the intervening years for desert storm in the early '90s and
iraqi freedom in 2003. what happened there is it not only a no-fly zone, it was a no-drive zone. and any movement north or south of the designated lines were punished. and saddam got the message very clearly. if this is going to be implemented, it has to be much broader in its definition. >> let me -- i don't want to read the whole u.n. resolution to you, but does have broad language there. it talks about using all necessary measures to protect civilians in civilian populated areas under threats of attack in the libyan area, et cetera so it would seem to me that, look, the u.s. military has known this might be coming for quite some time now. are they ready at this moment do you think, the commander in chief, the president picks up the phone, the secretary gates says start right now taking out those anti-aircraft protections around tripoli, around benghazi, i want to know that when i send that first soaredy in they're going to be safe. are they ready to do that? because time service the, sense because gadhafi's been encircling benghazi day by day now. how long will it take just to get that done? >> well, to answer your
question, the military is absolutely ready. i would only acknowledge that there's probably 19 plans already that have been worked through, and there are different variations of those plans. so the short answer is sure, the u.s. military is prepared. additionally, the president's not going to give the commander or give the chairman or the african-american commander or uconn commander -- i'm not sure who will have the lead in direct guidance. if he says establish a no-fly zone, the questions -- assumptions have been made and questions are going to have to be answered in terms of what that truly means and who else is going to participate. again, a no-fly zone by itself doesn't do much. it's not going to accomplish the task. gadhafi could still march into n to benghazi if his air defense systems are knocked out. he frankly doesn't need that capability. so it needs to be a broader definition of what that kinetic action is going to look like. >> thank you very much, general marks. now joined by gloria boeal gorg
spoke earlier on the vote. >> we spoke with him before the final vote in the city council. it's clear that he had been briefed on it. and as you know, he's been quite a critic of the administration for not taking a more up-front role in leading on libya on the no-fly zone. and when i spoke with him a couple of hours ago, he sort of changed his tune and started complimenting the obama administration for its leadership role. take a look. >> the first thing i want to say is how grateful i am that the administration seems to have become very pro-active in a different way they have been. a decision has been made in the white house that unless the world community acts in the united states in an active leadership role, then gadhafi will overwhelm the democratic opposition to him and it will be a humanitarian disaster. number one, the u.s. is back in
the leadership again, and that includes that the u.n. -- at the u.n. ben gazy is a city before a million people. they would be at risk i think of almost genocidal behavior by gadhafi as he tries to take this stronghold of the rebels. if he acts against them, i think he's got to understand that the world community is prepared to take military action to -- from the air probably, perhaps from sea, to stop his forces from going into benghazi. so i'm -- i'm encouraged now, i'm sorry it took this long for the united nations and the world community to get as active as they seem to be today but i don't think it's too late. and -- >> would it be supplying direct arms to the rebels, or would it be supplying money to the rebels? >> well, it could be either. probably the best thing to do is to supply arms to the rebels. and this is all about the rebels being able to quite gadhafi on
their own. they're not asking for us to fight their fight. but they're in such a terribly unfair fight now, and the world has a choice between a -- a maniacal dictator who's responsible for so many deaths including deaths in the pan am flight way back over lockerbie a couple of decades ago, and these -- these opponents of his that started out as peaceful democratic revolutionaries in the same way that their brothers and sisters did in tunisia and egypt. and it's turned into a bloody war because gadhafi made it that way. >> so senator, how quickly could we get in there? if we declare, say, benghazi a safe zone and gadhafi has said he's going to attack the rebels there, how quickly could we protect benghazi? >> well, it's hard to say, but i think we could do it in a matter of days. and incidentally, by anybody's estimate right now, this is not
going to be a unilateral american action. the u.s. has the capacity to lead. whether it's a no-fly zone or anything else. i think we're going to have some of our nato allies with us, and most important of all, we're going to have some of our allies in the arab world. members of the arab league that a few days ago called on the world to impose a no-fly zone against gadhafi and take other action to protect the peaceful uprising there. >> senator, thank you so much for being with us tonight. we know it's been a busy day for you. thank you. >> good to be with you. it's clear that it was very important to joe lieberman that the arab league be a part of this. and his feeling is better late than never. he wished that it had happened sooner, but it didn't. now he's on board with the administration. >> that's right, he's been pushing this for quite sometime. [ female announcer ] it's lobsterfest. the one time of year red lobster creates so many irresistible ways to treat yourself to lobster.
thank you very much for joining us "in the reason" tonight. good night from new york. piers morgan has an exclusive interview with prime minister benjamin netanyahu tonight. first back to anderson cooper in tokyo. >> reporter: thanks very much. breaking news on two fronts to cover tonight. first, the situation here in japan. worker still struggling to cool those damaged reactors in the fukushima-daiichi plant. dramatic developments. workers continuing to try to pump water into those -- into the spent fuel reactor pools. an emergency diesel generator is supplying power to units number five and six, reactors five and six. that's a bit of good news. engineer still workon